Air pollution kills 20,000 people in The Netherlands every year. We challenged Toyota to find the country’s dirtiest diesel drivers and convince them to swap to a hybrid, improving air quality and selling 60% more Toyota Hybrids. To celebrate we sent the nation’s most polluting car to the crusher!
Despite the Netherlands’ environmentally friendly image, in 2019 95% of its passenger cars were still gasoline or diesel, leaving only a small share of electric or hybrids. 20,000 people a year die from air pollution in the country. But drivers are reluctant to make the switch as they see diesel cars as the cheaper driving option.
Toyota is the original automotive challenger, defying years of motoring tradition when they introduced the Prius in 1999, so when they asked us to help them increase sales of their hybrids, it was a challenge we accepted with enthusiasm.
There was an obvious place to start – hybrid and electric cars are mainly popular among early adopters and environmentally-minded consumers. But we had a more provocative idea – tapping the huge potential and opportunity for growth in a different audience: the diesel driver. Not only do diesel drivers make up a large proportion of car-loving consumers, they are the most polluting group in the Netherlands.
We knew that this audience would be a challenge, but the growth potential was far bigger if we could make it work. So we focused on convincing these drivers to switch to a cleaner ride, positioning Toyota as the solution for both more sustainable and importantly more economic driving.
Research told us that diesel drivers stick to diesel mostly out of habit, but public opinion on climate change is an increasingly powerful influence on car-buying decisions. We needed to build on the awareness of the pollution caused by diesel usage and convince consumers to trade in their diesel cars for a green Toyota.
We kicked off the campaign with a nationwide announcement of the facts and figures around the most polluting diesels. On social media we launched a competition to find the nation’s dirtiest diesel, asking drivers to take part for the chance to win a clean Toyota – called ‘Clean My Ride.’
Ten candidates were selected and invited to test their car emission. The most polluting car was instantly demolished and traded in for a Toyota Hybrid, all hosted and shared online by influencer duo ‘Bucket Boys’.
The second phase was an integrated media campaign fueled by smart data. With data from Marktplaats (eBay), Microsoft, Google and social, we built in-market segments for people who own, selling, or are looking for a diesel. Dynamic creatives were used to increase relevancy and to activate consumers to take a trade-in check.
To generate mass reach among the large audience group who drive diesel cars, we used television and radio to highlight urgency and to encourage dealer visits.
All brand metrics including recognition and the image of Toyota as being an ‘environmentally friendly player’ exceeded campaign targets and car category benchmarks.
The number of trade-in calculations smashed its target by 115%. We reached a total share of 63% of competing brand drivers checking their trade-in value, outstanding in a category where the priming stage bias is high.
Best of all, 1.6 times the number of cars were sold compared to an average month, which was a fantastic result for Toyota and the environment.